Milwaukee, WI – MCTS driver Matt Kallas was driving home after a late shift on March 20th when he spotted a car that matched the description of a missing elderly man. Matt pulled alongside the car and eventually convinced the man to turn the car off. Matt also contacted police. Matt’s actions helped get the missing man home safely.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel held a news conference today to publicly thank Matt for his alert and kind deed.
“Matt is a shining example of MCTS Excellence. His small action had a big impact and shows us all how easy it is to help others,” County Executive Abele said. “Milwaukee County is proud to have so many amazing employees who commit selfless acts on and off the job every day.”
“Thank you, Matt, and thank you to all the people across Wisconsin who help us close Silver Alert cases all the time. The Silver Alert program has been critical in recent years in keeping some of our most vulnerable citizens safe,” said Attorney General Schimel.
The average age of someone missing when a Silver Alert is issued in Wisconsin is 78 years old. The program is responsible for the safe return of dozens of people in the past few years.
For Matt, this encounter was an emotional one because of his personal connection to Dementia, an issue that often sparks Silver Alerts. Matt told the story on his Facebook page:
While I was driving home tonight I had the opportunity to make a new friend, his name is Charles. Charles’ vehicle was listed on the Amber Sign as a Silver Alert. As I passed him on the Highway he was only going 50 mph & I recognized the vehicle type. I exited in an attempt to get behind him to verify the plate number. Coincidentally he exited with me. I waited for him to pass me & I pulled in behind him. I then dialed 911 & told the dispatcher I was following the vehicle described in the Silver Alert. Clearly he appeared to be lost. I was able to coax him into a parking lot & pulled alongside of him. I engaged Charles in conversation from my car. I asked him if it would be OK if I approached him & turn his vehicle off which he agreed. We talked for a minute or two before the Germantown Police arrived to further assist him. The dispatcher questioned if I was law enforcement, I said, "No sir, I drive a Transit Bus in the city of Milwaukee." See the thing is Charles will never know who I am or never remember me, he suffers from Dementia. (Dementia is a terrible disease that took my Mom) I felt that I was put there by GOD for a reason. To be able to assist this man in his time of need. After giving my information to the officers I drove away & began to cry. Knowing I did a good deed & only hoping someone would do it for one of my loved ones in a time of need. Prayers to you Charles & your loved ones.
Matt’s actions are another example of MCTS Excellence, a program MCTS recently launched to highlight the many ways MCTS drivers and other employees help others every day. MCTS has a special website dedicated to sharing these stories, RideMCTS.com/Excellence.
About the Silver Alert Program
The Silver Alert Program is managed by the Attorney General’s Office.
In partnership with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Outdoor Advertising Association of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Silver Alerts may be broadcast through television and radio, digital billboards, and lottery display terminals. Alerts also may be displayed on highway digital messaging signs through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Silver Alerts cannot utilize the Emergency Alert System. Silver Alerts will be issued when the following criteria are met:
- The missing person is 60 years of age or older;
- The missing person is believed to have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another permanent cognitive impairment that poses a threat to the individual’s health and safety;
- There is reasonable belief that the missing person’s disappearance is due to the individual’s impaired cognitive condition;
- The Silver Alert request is made within 72 hours of the individual’s disappearance;
- There is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the missing person.
People can sign up to receive alerts from the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, including AMBER and Silver Alerts at wisconsincrimealert.gov.